Celtics’ legend Cedric Maxwell stood in location of Boston Marathon bombing just minutes before

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It was one year ago today that two bombs killed 3 people and wounded 264 more near the finish line of one of America’s great races, the Boston Marathon. It was a senseless, needless tragedy, but one that united both the city and the nation behind Boston Strong.

Next week the race will return stronger than ever.

On the anniversary of the terrorist attack, Boston Celtics legend Cedric Maxwell told the story of how just minutes before the bomb went off — 7-8 minutes, by his estimation — he had been standing in the very spot that the explosions took place.

Maxwell spoke with A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com.

“I got a little cold,” Maxwell, color analyst for the Boston Celtics on 98.5 The Sports Hub, told CSNNE.com. “That ended up saving me; I got a little cold and I didn’t have a big coat on. So I went to get warm.”

Maxwell strolled down to Norstrom’s Rack and went to the second floor.

“And then the bomb went off,” Maxwell said.

Maxwell, like everyone else in the immediate area, had no idea what was going on in the minutes after the bombings. He went outside to see.

“And all of a sudden, somebody must have said, ‘run!’ And literally, I would say thousands of people started running towards me,” he said. “I’m looking for someone behind them with a gun … something was going on. So I run back into Norstrom’s Rack and all kinds of people followed me in there.”

Eventually Maxwell went home, turned on the news and quickly realized how fortunate he was.

While watching the news, he saw a woman on a stretcher with a red dress and a red bandana on her head. Maxwell recalled standing near her when he was watching the marathoners cross the finish line earlier in the day.

But what really hit home for Maxwell was seeing that among the three people who died, there was Lingzi Lu, a 23-year-old Chinese graduate student at Boston University, who was standing next to him moments before he left the marathon finish line.

Maxwell was lucky. So many others were not that day.

It’s a reminder that life can be fleeting, that we need to enjoy the moments we have while we can. The entire event is a reminder of the resiliency of people when faced with tragedy.

Boston Strong.